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AMD RX Vega 64: The Tom's Hardware Liquid Cooled Edition

Summary & Conclusion

Even sophisticated waterworks can’t give AMD's Radeon RX Vega 64 a happy ending. At least for our card, a good overclock remains an elusive goal.

You could say that the Power Saver mode is a lot more conservative, and that the card could be undervolted. Or you could save yourself a lot of time and money, and buy a Radeon RX 580 that's barely slower. Or just keep your old graphics card. Or buy an Nvidia GeForce card. You get the picture. Ultimately, Power Saver mode and undervolting doesn’t make the Radeon RX Vega 64 any more attractive. It just makes it more efficient and less noisy. What doesn't change is the card's high price. And that's a problem.

Those who’d really like to own and use a Radeon RX Vega 64 should think about better cooling. Alphacool's Eiswolf GPX-Pro shows us what’s possible. If you'd prefer another all-in-one kit or a custom loop, that's up to you. Either way, so long as you have a large-enough radiator, you'll realize a big gain over AMD's barely-adequate approach.

Take all of this into consideration before throwing $700 at AMD's Radeon RX Vega 64 Liquid Cooled Edition. A power consumption significantly higher than 300W is just too much for a small 120mm radiator. Your liquid-cooler of choice should also be designed to minimize noise. After all, pursuing an aggressive overclock just isn't worth it.

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MORE: AMD Radeon Vega Frontier Edition 16GB Review

  • AgentLozen
    The conclusion page makes the liquid cooled Vega64 sound unappealing.
    When you guys reviewed Vega64 on Monday, you had a more restrained conclusion.

    ...AMD is ready to show off Radeon RX Vega 64, and it's...alright.
    Your tone seems a bit different today.

    Ultimately, Power Saver mode and undervolting doesn’t make the Radeon RX Vega 64 any more attractive. It just makes it more efficient and less noisy. What doesn't change is the card's high price. And that's a problem.
    I know you guys try to keep your emotions and bias out of your writing, but it seems like you're frustrated with Vega64. I felt the same when I looked at the benchmarks and power consumption results a few days ago. This thing fell way short of my expectations.

    edit: spelling, minor redundancy changes
    Reply
  • bit_user
    Thanks for your thorough testing of this scenario.
    Reply
  • zfreak280
    AMD really needs to ditch Global Foundries. These power consumption figures are ridiculous for finfet.
    Reply
  • artk2219
    I'm honestly curious to see what the other OEM's can do with their own custom board and cooling designs. It seems like there's potential in Vega, especially the 56, but I'm not sure if we will ever see it fully tapped.
    Reply
  • max0x7ba
    Well, the original Sapphire Vega 64 Liquid easily keeps 1850/1000 clocks, I haven't tried pushing it harder. https://www.reddit.com/r/Amd/comments/6udvyj/sapphire_radeon_rx_vega_64_liquid_cooling_oc/
    Reply
  • FormatC
    20075809 said:
    Your tone seems a bit different today...
    Call it bandwith. Two authors, two meanings and different lyrics. Ok, this piece was filtered also a little bit during transalation.

    For the launch review we had not enough time to investigate all this things more in detail. Now I got the time to run more things and to measure it, also under better conditions (water cooling).

    For Vega56 (yes, I got one now after one week of waiting) I will do a comparison of all modes, also with power draw and performance with heavier loads. But this software is killing me...

    20075916 said:
    Well, the original Sapphire Vega 64 Liquid easily keeps 1850/1000 clocks, I haven't tried pushing it harder. https://www.reddit.com/r/Amd/comments/6udvyj/sapphire_radeon_rx_vega_64_liquid_cooling_oc/
    Which drivers?

    Only the beta6 press driver can show you the real clock rate. What you see with the normal drivers from AMDs homepage is the frequency of the next DPM state, not the real clock rate. I wrote about this in my review. With this older driver and a chiller I can crack easy the 1.9 GHz barrier (in theory). But in real it were 1.6 to 1.7 GHz (like in the review).
    Reply
  • AgentLozen
    FormatC said:
    Two authors, two meanings and different lyrics. Ok, this piece was filtered also a little bit during transalation.

    How big is the Tomshardware staff? I know you have a German team, but in America locally how many people do you have? When you give out your mailing address, does it lead to a rented out floor in an office building or does it point to some dude's garage?
    Reply
  • AndrewJacksonZA
    I really love the in-depth stuff that you guys do, thank you!! :-)

    Also, the buttons for voting comments up and down have disappeared when viewing the comments underneath the article. Is that a known bug for you guys?


    Thank you,
    Andrew
    Reply
  • redgarl
    All this power and OC arguments makes me laugh... AMD provided a stronger card in DX12 than the 1080 GTX and all I see are complains about power and OC.

    Guess what, the 64 and 56 are still more powerful than their 1080 and 1070 counterparts with no drivers optimization.

    It will take 2 months to know really what to expect from Vega.
    Reply
  • FormatC
    20076025 said:
    I know you have a German team, but in America locally how many people do you have? When you give out your mailing address, does it lead to a rented out floor in an office building or does it point to some dude's garage?
    I'm German and I own a well equipped lab with a lot of high-end stuff and I'm sitting not in a garage. We write mostly the launch things in coop between US and GER, the single VGA comes from me. We are writing in France, Italy, US and have also a franchise guy in Russia. :)

    Reply